PULASKI – Acclaimed pianist Andrew Palmer Todd will travel from Wyoming to Pulaski to perform the first fall concert in the LaVeck Concert series, Northern Oswego County’s Classical music series, on September 29.
Todd, a solo pianist who also serves as president and CEO of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyo., will perform works by Beethoven, Schumann and Sergei Prokofiev in a concert with the theme “Youth Springs Eternal.”
The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Pulaski Congregational Church, 27 Lake St., Pulaski, with a meet-the-artist reception to follow.
LaVeck Artistic Director Rob Auler, also a pianist and chair of the music department at SUNY Oswego, said he is thrilled to be able to bring Todd to perform for the series he founded it in 2008.
“We are very fortunate to have such a world-class musician performing at our little concert series,” Auler said.
Todd titled his program, “Youth Springs Eternal” because it features three famous compositions that “look at youth from different angles,” he said.
Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8 in C Minor – the “Pathetique” was written when the future master was 27 years old. Todd said it is filled with emotion that pushed the envelope of the music of the time (1797).
“The opening alone, with its crashing C minor chord, represents such a radical departure from the Vienna of Mozart and Haydn,” Todd said. “This is a statement of a young man, wanting desperately to stand on his own musically in a city that venerated tradition above all. In this work, Beethoven achieves what all young people want – to break from the previous generation and set out on a new path.”
German composer Robert Schumann’s “Kinderszenen,” or Scenes from Childhood, is a collection of 13 short pieces that he wrote for his then-fiancè in 1838.
“The Schumann is very much the nostalgia of youth as seen from the lens of an adult,” Todd said. “Ironically, Schumann was 28 when he wrote this and Beethoven 27 when he wrote the Pathetique Sonata. But these 13 pieces have a hazy nostalgia. Maybe they recollect not what childhood actually was for Schumann but what he wanted it to be.”
Finally, Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Ten Pieces for Piano features selections from his famous 1936 take on the most famous teenage love story, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
“These star-crossed lovers have received many treatments over the years – opera, ballet, film,” Todd said. “This started as a ballet, but Prokofiev quickly fashioned this suite of 10 selections after the ballet premiered. It’s full of some of the most recognizable parts of the ballet.”
Besides leading Grand Teton Music Festival, Todd performs as a soloist and chamber musician across the country.
A native of Ohio, he holds degrees from Northwestern University, the Mannes College of Music, and the University of Colorado.
At age 17, he made his orchestral debut playing the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Columbus Symphony and has since appeared with several other symphony orchestras. During the 2017-18 season, he was the featured soloist for the Wyoming Music Educators Annual Conference and the Wyoming Arts Council’s 50th anniversary concert.
As a winner of the Artists International Piano Competition, Todd’s New York debut was at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.
His New York appearances also include the Polish and French Consulates and Steinway Hall.
His performances have been featured on many public radio stations, and he is co-host of “Live from the Grand Teton Music Festival,” heard on more than 150 public radio stations nationwide.
IF YOU GO:
What: LaVeck Concerts Presents Andrew Palmer Todd, Solo Piano, Youth Springs Eternal
When: September 29, 7:30 p.m.
Where: 27 Lake St., Pulaski, NY 13142
Cost: There is a suggested donation of $10 per person, but no donation is required and students are encouraged to attend for free.
Bonus: A ‘Meet the Artists’ reception with free refreshments follows the concert.